The Major League Baseball season got off to a great start yesterday with some tense openers and some fantastic individual performances. Marquee starting pitchers delivered in a major way yesterday. Johnny Cueto, David Price, Clay Bucholtz and Sonny Gray all failed to allow a single run, while Gray flirted with an Opening Day no-hitter. Perhaps no game was as dramatic as the opener in Cincinnati which both Kyle and I picked accurately). After Ander McCutchen tied the game at two apiece in the eighth inning with a two-run shot, Todd Frazier responded with a tape-measure three run blast in the eighth. The Reds handed the ball to Aroldis Chapman in the ninth who blew away the Buccos in quick fashion to secure the win.
We also notched a pretty easy plus money winner with the Orioles handling the Rays in The Trop. Baltimore roughed up Chris Archer while getting an ace performance from Chris Tillman. It’s a nice 3-0 start for me to the MLB season, so let’s try to keep it going tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Atlanta Braves +108 at Miami Marlins -118 (Total: 7)
Alex Wood (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Mat Latos (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Mat Latos, a South Florida native, makes his Marlins debut after an off-season acquisition from the Reds. He had an injury-riddled 2014 but has won 14 or more games in the three prior season. His addition, along with the hopeful midseason return of Jose Fernandez, give the Marlins an interesting pitching rotation to provide a challenge to the Nats.
Meanwhile, this is expected to be a down year for the Atlanta Braves. Their lineup is a little thinner after sending Jason Hayward to the Cardinals in exchange for Shelby Miller. The move puts a lot of production pressure on Freddie Freeman and newly-acquired Nick Markaikis. I think it is fair to expect another year in which Atlanta struggles to score runs.
Mat Latos has an ERA of 3.28 against the Braves in his career, but it is also fair to note this might be one of the worst Braves lineups on recent years. I like him to have a strong home debut tonight in Miami. Opposing him is one of the more undervalued lefties in the National League. Alex Wood posted a 2.43 ERA in 17 starts after being recalled from the minors last season in June and held batters to a .217 batting average. I think he will also fare well tonight against a Miami lineup that has a lot of questions outside of Giancarlo Stanton.
This game seems to favor the pitchers, so I’ll take the UNDER today in an effort to push the season-starting winning streak to four in a row.